How Punkpost connects a community of artists and delivers good vibes

Photo of hands holding a thank-you card next to a doughnut, laptop, paperclips and note pads

By Lex Monson, Founder, Punkpost

 

It’s such a quaint idea:

  • Buy a card for a loved one
  • Write a handwritten note
  • Drop it in the post for a sweet surprise

In our digital world, this simple act of kindness can prove more powerful than any text message or email. 

But finding, writing and sending a handwritten note is often easier said than done. Those little steps can take a lot of time, and time is increasingly in short supply. So, what’s a well-meaning well-wisher to do?

Hit up Punkpost.

Colourful birthday cards and thank-you notes on turquoise background

Punkpost is a good-vibes company that has a simple concept: to deliver the feeling of personal post to everyone. We specialise in greetings cards that individual artists create and then post. 

Punkpost was born from a personal experience. My partner, Santiago, travelled frequently for work, and before one particularly stressful meeting, I sent a greetings card to his hotel to lift his spirits. Santiago wanted to return the favour, but his travel schedule made getting a card in the post complicated. He was in an unfamiliar place and needed to find somewhere to buy a card, a place to buy postage and the time to write a note. We thought: ‘What if we could help people make good on their good intentions?’

Photo of Punkpost founders sitting at desk with cards and notepads

That’s what we’ve done. We’ve modernised the process of sending cards, and we’ve spent years connecting with a community of more than 100 lettering and ‘snail mail’ artists who love what they do. No one has to spend the time hunting for the perfect card or standing in a queue at the post office. 

And I don’t think any of this would be possible without Dropbox.

Photo of colourful greetings cards being dropped into a postbox

Organisation that works for any asset

We adopted Dropbox early in the Punkpost journey in 2015. I had used Dropbox in the past and realised it was a practical and convenient solution for sharing information between Santiago and myself.

Even though we work together in the same house, we started using Dropbox because it’s just such an easy way to share information.

One of the biggest things that stands out about Dropbox is the ease of organisation. You can nest so many subfolders under other folders, which makes a huge difference in our line of work. We occasionally use Google Drive to share some assets, but finding things can be a nightmare. That’s why we only use the platform for temporary and disposable assets. Once something becomes final, it moves into Dropbox – where it stays!

Dropbox also has a restricted access element that works well for Punkpost. Most of our assets are for marketing and social media. Still, there are a few documents that only Santiago and I need to access, such as investor information and tax documents. These items still live in the same place, but we can rest easy because with file permissions, we can control who sees them.

There are no limits to our creativity

Possibly the best thing about Dropbox is how it supports remote work. Punkpost has been a work-from-home outfit since the beginning. Renting and property is wildly expensive everywhere, especially in San Francisco, and as a scrappy little start-up, we knew we could put our rent money to better use. Besides, many of our artists are freelancers, and it didn’t make sense for local artists to battle Bay Area traffic to get to a physical location to draw for a couple of hours a day.

Because of how we work, real-time syncing and file sharing are huge for us. Our visual assets can be large, and Dropbox ensures everyone has access to these files without size restrictions. As soon as an asset is ready, it lives in Dropbox, where anyone can access it from wherever they are. 

Remote access is critical for many small business owners and entrepreneurs because it allows you to start a business virtually anywhere. Whether you live in a big city or a small town, you’re not limited to a talent pool in your immediate vicinity. Instead, you can use Dropbox to work with talented people across the country – or even the world. I can find the best people for the job, and we’ve found success connecting with other lettering artists that love what we love. Working with like-minded people enables us to make better products.

With Dropbox, business is not so much about proximity, just who connects with you and your product.

Improved workflows across the company

We all want to work the fewest hours possible and get the most out of those hours. So why wait around for someone to send a document when you can grab it straight out of Dropbox?

Let’s be honest, it’s annoying to ask people to send files or provide info about where they put files. I know it sounds trite, but time is money, and when you’re paying freelancers by the hour, we don’t want them to spend that time hunting and chasing people for agreements or card art. With a centralised location to add or request large visual assets, our experts can spend more of their time doing more of what they love.

And the interface is so intuitive – it looks just like folders on a computer desktop, which makes it familiar for anyone to use, even if they haven’t seen it before. I can send a link to my 75-year-old dad, and he knows what to do with it. That easy access aligns with the simplicity of our business model.

The perfect solution for a scrappy business

Dropbox lets us save time with improved processes and workflows. Sure, there are other file sharing and storage platforms out there. But in my opinion, nothing else is even half as accessible and efficient. At this point, I’ve been using it for so long that I can’t wrap my head around why people don’t use it.

I really, truly do believe Punkpost might not exist without Dropbox.

Running a small business is hard, and Punkpost is still scrappy. But Dropbox makes our existence so much easier. It facilitates easy collaboration and enables remote access for Punkpost’s distributed teams. We all love working from home, and thanks to Dropbox, we do what we love with ease without having to go into an office. With access to files in real time and collaboration features, things can get done just as quickly as if we were all sitting together.

Could we run Punkpost without Dropbox? Maybe. But honestly, it would be complicated, time-consuming and frustrating. Because we have a platform that facilitates an easy, flexible workflow, we can continue to deliver good vibes – one card at a time.